September 13, 2017

New information about the campus shooting of September 12

I want to let you know that the St. Paul Police arrested tonight a St. Catherine University public safety officer who reported being shot on campus on Tuesday night. Police said misdemeanor charges of falsely reporting a crime are expected to be filed.

The officer, Brent Patrick Ahlers, 25, was placed on a paid leave of absence Wednesday while the investigation continued into his report that he had been shot by someone in a darkened area on campus Tuesday at 9:25 p.m. He was taken to Regions Hospital, where he was treated for a shoulder wound and released.

A police news release said Ahlers, of St. Louis Park, said he was handling his gun when it accidentally discharged, sending a bullet through his shoulder.

Ahlers has been a member of the St. Catherine Department of Public Safety for 15 months, with no reports of misconduct on his record prior to this incident. Before his hiring he had undergone a thorough background check. He holds an associate degree in law enforcement and completed law enforcement skills training at Hennepin Technical College.

The police reported the weapon involved was the officer’s own firearm. Firearms are prohibited on campus and are not carried or issued by St. Catherine Public Safety staff.

While we are distressed and saddened that this incident occurred, we are relieved that no other members of the community were injured. Investigators announced earlier in the day their belief that there was no threat to public safety.

I appreciate the concern and support we have received from so many of you during this incident. We will continue to keep you informed via traditional and social media as more information emerges.

- President Becky Roloff